WHEN chip shop worker Donna Cowan wanted to lose some weight, she decided to get out and start clocking up the miles to lose the pounds.

The Palazzo counter assistant lost three stones a few years ago where she didn’t have to give up her beloved fish and chips but walked 10,000 steps a day.

Lockdown life and with the chip shop closing for months, Donna, of Ardrossan, decided it was time to get back on track and lose a bit more weight.

So, she set about walking 10,000 steps a day, it gave her something to do and she enjoyed the fresh air of her hometown.

Impressed with her efforts, her sister, Laura MacGregor, offered to help and suggested Donna look for family and friends to sign up and walk alongside her.

This idea has grown legs and now there are 70 steppers helping Donna and getting fit and healthy at the same time too.

And it’s turned into a bit of a competition, the 10,000 Step Gang has its own Facebook group and has been divided into teams, ranging from the Coast Busters, the Blazing Sandals and the Shufflers to the Shin Splint and Scrambled Legs.

Donna’s own group is the Walkie Talkies and she is loving that whole families are now getting involved including her son Jai, nine.

“Jai has been wearing his step counter all the time and him and his friends Alfie, Charlie and Logan who are getting amazing numbers

each day,” laughed Donna.

“Young Charlie is only five and he reached 73,000 steps.

“They are putting us to shame, they are loving getting out and about and it’s been great to have some sunshine instead of all that wind and rain, especially down the shore.

“We decided to set up a Facebook group, the 10,000 Step Gang and before I knew it we had a leader board and every team was posting up their weekly step counting totals.

“It’s a great feeling to see the Walkie Talkies at the top of it.”

What started out as Donna trying to lose weight has become a group of 70 people who are all committed to helping each other get outside, get healthy and feel better.

“We are all a wee bit competitive but it’s great fun too, and some are doing it for the Maggie’s Centre and charities” said Donna.

“I am so happy that Laura, who is really active and plays a lot of hockey, suggested starting the group, it has kept everyone motivated and it makes me proud when Jai asks to put his step counter on before he goes off to school.

“I’m a wee bit worried as I am back at work now in the chip shop and I do love my fish suppers but I’m staying on track with my steps and at the café I’m on my feet all day so I should have the edge over the others.”